As a growing developer and a man of systems and mental hacks, I am constantly hitting roadblocks when settling on developer note-taking policy. I recently stumbled across this great collection of systems from other devs on StackOverflow. If you’re like me, you might take some time to grok this out.
From the hardcore, yet incredibly streamlined:
I use Emacs Org-Mode along with Remember Mode to keep track of everything. TODOs, appointments, notes, etc. With Org mode and Remember mode integration, plus a shortcut key defined in my window manager, I can hit a shortcut key from anywhere (Win + R in my case) and pop up a new Emacs window, select which type of item I’m saving (TODO, appointment, note, etc) and then quickly type what I want and then hit C-c C-c. The note is filed away to a default location for me to organize later if I so choose. This is so simple and convenient that I don’t have to interrupt my flow of thinking if I suddenly think of something I need to do or take some notes on a given task. “Just what are the steps again for setting up a remote git repo? Okay, I do this and this and this. I had better write this down before I forget.”
To the obvious and simple:
One notebook per project, typically, unless they’re really small projects, in which case I reach for a partially used notebook and add to it.
I find it very helpful to grab a notebook off my shelf and re-read my maunderings from when I was thinking my way through something. Scribbling on paper lets me record partial thoughts instead of doing a ‘finished’ write-up. This lets me revisit my thought process in addition to the solutions I found — and that tends to be more enlightening than merely recording a solution.